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War veterans yesterday reaffirmed their support for zanu-pf and its « original and authentic leadership » saying the manner in which the party is being run was driving them away.
In a frank exchange of views in Harare yesterday, war veterans told Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators and Former Political Detainees Minister Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube that if the current set-up was allowed to continue, the revolutionary party’s enemy would succeed in destroying it from within.
The veterans condemned corruption in all its forms, adding there was a nexus between corrupt elements within the party and those driving them out of the party.
Apart from members of the Presidium, most senior positions in zanu-pf’s Politburo are occupied by people without liberation credentials, some of whom were pre-pubescent youths at independence.
At yesterday’s meeting, war veterans were represented by Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairman Mr Chris Mutsvangwa, who was in the company of other executive members Messrs Headman Moyo (vice chairman) and Douglas Mahiya (spokesperson).
Rtd Col Dube represented Government together with the ministry’s permanent secretary Retired Brigadier-General Walter Tapfumaneyi.
The outcome of the meeting would soon be communicated to the relevant authorities for consideration and possible adoption.
After six hours of intense discussions, the two parties issued a joint statement.
In the statement, Rtd Col Dube said: « The war veterans reaffirmed their status as revolutionaries, asserting their unwavering loyalty to Zimbabwe, the revolutionary party Zanu-PF and its original and authentic leadership.
« They asserted that the current manner in which the party is being run is driving them away because they see the party as having been hijacked away from the ethos and ideals of the liberation struggle. In this regard, they expressed clearly that if these issues are not addressed urgently the enemy’s pronounced intentions of effecting regime change from within will manifest.
« They saw the current rift between the party and the war veterans as being orchestrated from within the party by elements who are determined to destroy the party from within at the behest of the architects of regime change. »
Rtd Col Dube said the war veterans also denied the authorship of the Blue Ocean document and the controversial July 21 communiqué which purported that the freedom fighters had severed ties with President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
He said the war veterans pointed out that the two documents were part of a nefarious and broader scheme by the enemy to draw a wedge between them and Zanu-PF.
Said Rtd Col Dube: « They (war veterans) went further, once again, to unequivocally distance themselves from both the Blue Ocean document and the communiqué of 21 july 2016.
« In this respect, they dismissed attempts to attribute the authorship and distribution of these documents to the ZNLWVA as part of a broader strategy to drive a wedge with the war veterans who are the historical stalwarts of the party. »
He said the war veterans also demanded equal treatment of all party members regardless of position or status.
In response, Rtd Col Dube said the ministry reminded the war veterans that as a Government ministry, they had a mandate to unify war veterans and ensure that they had a harmonious relationship with the revolutionary party.
« The ministry responded by reaffirming its executive mandate to organise and unify the veterans of the liberation struggle, » he said.
« The desired end state being a unified, organised, responsibly led and loyal fraternity of veterans of the liberation struggle which is in a good relationship with the party and its leadership for the benefit of the whole nation and prosperity of all Zimbabweans.
« The cascading of war veterans structures within the party, thus mainstreaming them in national politics, is not targeted at surplanting the Zimbabwe National Liberation War veterans’ Association. »
Rtd Col Dube said both parties agreed to condemn corruption in all its forms.
He said the veterans of the liberation struggle pointed at what they see as a nexus between corrupt elements within the party and those who are driving them out of the party.
Their voice on corruption comes at a time when the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, which is now being administered by the Office of the President and Cabinet is investigating several cases of corruption by high profile figures in Government.
One such case involves Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa who are being accused of abusing over US$400 000 belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.
His Local Government, Public Works and National Housing counterpart Cde Saviour Kasukuwere is also under the microscope over a matter involving fraudulent allocation of residential stands in Harare’s Chishawasha B area.